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Dr. Hamilton S. Le, M.D. '97 (center), pictured at dinner with (clockwise from right) his Texas A&M University mentor and scholarship namesake Timothy P. Scott '89, Le's wife Jenny, and their children Austin and Jasmyne.

COLLEGE STATION --

Whether in academia or in life, the difference between success and failure often hinges on a single event or person.

Texas A&M University former student Dr. Hamilton S. Le, M.D. '97 says his defining experience boils down to both -- specifically, his sophomore year in introductory biology with Dr. Timothy P. Scott, who would later become his mentor and guide him into medical school.

Now a bariatric surgeon and medical director since 2012 for the INTEGRIS Weight Loss Center at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, Le recently repaid the favor backward and forward, establishing a $25,000 Timothy P. Scott '89 Endowed Lifelines Scholarship through the Texas A&M Foundation to honor his mentor and benefit future pre-medical or pre-dental students pursuing undergraduate degrees in the Texas A&M College of Science.

"We all leave Texas A&M with indelible moments that help shape our lives," Le said. "Texas A&M is blessed to have dedicated, compassionate and caring professors like Dr. Tim Scott. We must remember and honor our mentors while providing new opportunities for Aggies who wish to follow in our footsteps."

Le, who earned his bachelor's degree in biomedical science in 1997 from Texas A&M with the help of financial support from the Howard Gravett Endowed Scholarship, says he wanted to provide similar support for Aggies seeking careers in medicine. Taking a page from his hands-on mentor, he chose to reveal his intentions in person, traveling to College Station along with his family to surprise Scott with the tribute as the main course in an otherwise routine Friday night dinner.

Le invited Scott under the guise of catching up but then worked behind the scenes with Scott's Dean's Office and development team colleagues to flip the night's narrative. The clever role-reversal effectively put Scott in the spotlight instead of his guest, enabling Le to flawlessly pull off the heartwarming moment -- one with double significance, given that Scott himself had founded the Lifelines Scholarship Program in 2001 with the help of a special circle of like-minded former students to benefit the next generation of healthcare industry professionals through the generosity of its current leaders like Le.

"Hamilton has always been a joy," said Scott, a Texas A&M faculty member since 1990 and associate dean for undergraduate programs in the College of Science since 2000. "While he was a student in my introductory biology course, he stood out among his 300-plus peers. He continues to espouse the Aggie core values, as he did while he was a student here. There can be no doubt of his excellent credentials, but it is his selfless service of others that makes him a giant in my book.

"I could not have been more surprised by the scholarship he and his family gave in my honor. It is one of the most humbling feelings I have ever known."

Le currently performs both bariatric and general surgery at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where his first exposure to general surgery came alongside legendary trauma surgeon Dr. James H. "Red" Duke Jr. '50, a previous member of the College of Science's External Advisory and Development Council. Le completed an internship and residency in general surgery in 2006 with the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine Department of Surgery, followed by active-duty service stints in both Iraq and Germany with the U.S. Army. After his military service, Le completed a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery and bariatric surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland and now has been in practice for more than 13 years.

At INTEGRIS, Le specializes in minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery for bariatric and foregut disorders. He is fluent in several languages, including Spanish and Vietnamese. Le and his wife, Jenny, a family practice doctor, reside in Edmond along with their two children, Jasmyne and Austin.

"I hope Texas A&M University will continue to attract quality students, provide a top-notch education in preparation for professional studies and help relieve the financial burden through merit scholarships," Le said.

Scott notes that about 70 percent of Texas A&M Science undergraduate students go on to pursue advanced degrees in either traditional graduate programs or, like Le, one of any number of professional programs.

For additional information about professional programs and related requirements, visit the Office of Professional School Advising.

To learn more about endowed scholarships or other giving opportunities, go to http://www.science.tamu.edu/giving/ or directly to the Texas A&M Foundation.

-aTm-

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu or Dr. Timothy P. Scott, (979) 845-7362 or tim@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. Hamilton S. Le, M.D. defines his indellible, life-shaping moment as his sophomore year in biology with Texas A&M's Timothy P. Scott, who would later become his mentor and guide him into medical school. (Credit: INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center.)

  • As an administrator in the Texas A&M College of Science, Timothy P. Scott has spearheaded many programs and efforts in addition to the Lifelines Scholarship Program, including the college's inaugural Transfer Learning Community that regularly attracts standing-room-only crowds at each session.

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